A career criminal indicted in February on a murder charge for allegedly beating to death a 67-year-old man was freed without bail by a Manhattan judge on Thursday, The Post has learned.
Eugene Clark was on parole when he was initially charged by cops with assault for the Sept. 20, 2020 pummeling of Ramon Luna, 67, who was knocked into a coma before dying from his injuries last August, police sources said.
Clark, 54, allegedly socked Luna in the head, causing the victim to fall to the ground and lose consciousness at the intersection of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Harlem, police sources said.
As Luna lay defenseless on the ground, Clark and another man allegedly rifled through the victim’s pockets and snatched some of his belongings, prosecutors said.
A third suspect, Unique Powers, allegedly poured an unknown substance on Luna’s face and also rifled through his pants, sources and prosecutors said. She’s been charged in the case with assault and grand larceny.
Luna was taken to Harlem Hospital after the vicious attack. Doctors there discovered he had suffered multiple brain bleeds, according to a criminal complaint.
Police busted Clark nine days after the brutal attack. During questioning, he allegedly identified himself on surveillance video that captured the incident and admitted to pushing the victim to the ground, according to prosecutors and sources.
The alleged assailant was also slapped with a grand larceny charge and ultimately released on bail on his initial charges.
But following Luna’s death on Aug. 4, 2021, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office convened a grand jury in the case.
On Feb. 2, a grand jury in Manhattan Supreme Court indicted Clark with murder in the second degree, assault, two counts of robbery and grand larceny.
The suspect was arraigned Thursday on the superseding charges. At the hearing, Manhattan prosecutors requested that Clark be remanded without bail.
But in a shocking move, Judge April Newbauer released Clark on his own recognizance.
Clark, who will be screened for electronic monitoring, is due back in court on June 12.
Sources said Clark has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1983 for charges including robbery, gang assault and criminal sale of a controlled substance.
At the time of his alleged attack on Luna, Clark was out on parole for a past robbery, sources said.
One source familiar with the investigation slammed Newbauer’s decision to free Clark.
“I couldn’t believe it,” the source said. Never, in all my years, have I heard of something like this before. [Clark] implicated himself in [Luna’s} death and now he’s free? Even the DA asked for remand,” the source fumed.
Newbauer had also faced scrutiny over two years ago for her decision not to jail a woman who was later charged with murder.
In December 2020, Kaylha Armand had pleaded guilty to two assault cases – including an attack on a Rikers Island correction officer from 2018.
Prosecutors had sought to have Armand sentenced to one to three years in prison, but Newbauer held off imposing the sentence and instead ordered Armand to undergo mental-health treatment and check in periodically in court, according to the Bronx District’s Attorney’s Office.
In August of that year, Armand, who was 20 at the time, was then arrested for allegedly stabbing a woman to death in Washington Heights.